Mr. Grotemat addressed the City Council, explaining the problem boaters have when accessing Smith’s Bayou. Many boaters must use the middle two sections of Smith’s Bridge because of height requirements. These passages were blocked, causing problems with navigation and safety. A buoyed channel was recommended.
I stated that the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department was notified concerning the problem. City Manager Bessinger also assured that the concerns would be brought to the attention of the appropriate agencies. This interaction was the sum total of the discussion at the council meeting. No reference was made to activities that took place in, on, or around the boats.
The Ferrysburg City Council (including Councilwoman Hopp) has no intention of restricting boaters in any way. We recognize the family-friendly aspect of rafting off and boating in general, and are proud it.
Any questions after the meeting were referred to Mr. Grotemat, based on his experience with dealing with bayou issues for over 50 years and his many years serving on the U.S. Power Squadron.
The real issue is and was about navigation and safety, not the behavior of boaters.I believe that we have to focus on the real problem.
The members of the Ferrysburg City Council are dedicated to their community and sacrifice numerous hours to the many activities that make our area a great place to live and play. We did not nor do we want to discourage boaters from enjoying everything Ferrysburg has to offer.
— Mayor Dan Ruiter, Ferrysburg